This World Malaria Day, leaders and champions from around the world gathered in a shared vision of a malaria-free world at Malaria No More’s 11th Annual International Honors Night in New York City.
CNN’s lead political anchor and the anchor of the Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer hosted the evening.
The evening commended the leadership and support across industry sectors and countries that has made malaria one of the great public health success stories of our time. An electric optimism and energy filled the room as partners looked onward to the final chapter of the malaria fight.
Addressing the more than 250 malaria champions in attendance, Martin Edlund, Malaria No More’s CEO, asked what ending malaria in the next 25 years would mean to the world. “Ending malaria would save 11 million more lives of mothers, daughters, sisters, and brothers. Ending malaria would prevent 4 billion cases of this dreadful disease. Ending malaria would unlock $2 trillion in economic benefits in the developing world.” Edlund said.
Pictured from left to right: Martin Edlund, Jodi Ziemer, Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, Zouera Youssoufou, Wolf Blizter
Thanks to continued leadership and support from partners, this vision of a malaria-free world is within our reach. Today, 7 million people are alive and well, who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to the collective efforts of our partners and champions like Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer and Aliko Dangote – the night’s honorees.
Malaria No More Co-Founders, Ray Chambers and Peter Chernin, presented awards to Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer and Aliko Dangote for their outstanding leadership in the malaria fight.
Admiral Ziemer spoke to his experience working with the Bush Administration during the launch of the President’s Malaria Initiative in 2006 and the tremendous progress he has seen in the malaria fight over the last decade.
In his acceptance, Ziemer said “Any recognition bestowed on me must be turned around to this entire team that’s worked collectively to achieve some pretty significant goals and targets and accomplishments over the last couple years. We’re all gathered here tonight to share an audacious vision of a malaria-free world.”
Admiral Ziemer concluded his remarks by saying, “On World Malaria Day, as we celebrate a great cause, let us renew once again our commitment to fighting this disease and stay focused on our vision of a malaria-free world. A world where there is malaria no more. Only together can we accomplish this goal.”
Aliko Dangote was regretfully unable to attend the event. Accepting the award on his behalf, Zouera Youssoufou, CEO of the Dangote Foundation, read from Mr. Dangote’s heartfelt remarks.
“Malaria accounts for as many as 150,000 deaths every year in Nigeria, mostly among women and children. I myself have had malaria several times, and have lost dear family members to the disease. It is a personal issue for me.”
A prominent businessman himself, Mr. Dangote spoke to the drain malaria puts on the Nigerian economy. “The private sector can play an important role in mobilizing domestic resources, capabilities, and innovation and advocacy platforms to catalyze progress in achieving Nigeria’s malaria pre-elimination agenda.”
“In addition to the private sector, we of course need the Nigerian government to play an expanded role, both as a funder of its own malaria control and as a lead implementer, providing the Nigerian people the life-saving tools they need to protect themselves. To win this fight, we need to put our money where our malaria is.”
We cannot stop this global effort when half the world’s population is still at risk. Continuing the fight to end malaria within a generation is our mission, Edlund concluded. “That’s what we wake up every day to do.”